I found this gun in the local mountains and want to restore and identify
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  1. #1
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    Default I found this gun in the local mountains and want to restore and identify

    Any help on either would be appreciated!

    It was in the dirt near a bunch of rubble from an old cabin that was torn down.

    Thx

    John
    Shared album - Julian Cabins - Google Photos

    Shared album - Julian Cabins - Google Photos

    For some reason I could not upload a pic.

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    Its a Sharps Model 1859 rifle converted to cartridge post CW........of considerable value ,even in the relic state it is now.........I would suggest you get some professional advice on the restoration as something as benign (to you) as a touch of sandpaper or steel wool will reduce the value by several thousand dollars!....In other words dont touch it ,save for some oil on the metal.

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    Sure is kin to my Model 1874

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    If this was found on public land, BLM, NFS, State land, you are most likely in violation of the Antiquities Act, if that is the case I would recommend you do the right thing, might want to consult an atty too. If found on private property, and you had permission to be there or are the owner, do as you please.

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    Very cool.......

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    Its a pet piv of mine...I own mining claims and am total po ed when I hear the term abandoned, someone is paying taxes on the land and they own it not you, and you have no right to trespass and treasure hunt, end of story....do the right thing and give it back...Phil

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    Turnbull restorations

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    I have restored/conserved Sharps rifles for a museum, and it is very rewarding. Do lots of research. Move slowly. And do not try to make it better than it is. Sandpaper, bluing and such are a no-no. You will want to soak the metal with penetrating oil, but you must not let that oil get into the wood. Some projects may take 10 years. Working on several projects now. Remington, Winchester and Mauser etc.

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    Soooo....keep stumm about where you "found it",dont tell everyone ,or anyone....But the gun looks like its been coated in bear grease or hog fat or summat,thats preserved it......Gold is where you find it,no one tosses a nugget back in the crick cause he aint got a claim pegged.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Montana View Post
    Its a pet piv of mine...I own mining claims and am total po ed when I hear the term abandoned, someone is paying taxes on the land and they own it not you, and you have no right to trespass and treasure hunt, end of story....do the right thing and give it back...Phil
    -Partial agree, partial disagree. No one leaves a rifle "in the dirt" intending to come back for it. You can argue it was "lost" rather than "abandoned", certainly, but there's also little question the thing was there for a very, very long time.

    I agree that someone- or perhaps more likely at this point, some corporation- actually owns the land, but I disagree that it would have been better to leave the gun buried. What would that have served? There was a story of a rifle found leaning against a tree way up in the Nevada mountains. Should that have been left there in case the owner came back for it?

    Doc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
    If this was found on public land, BLM, NFS, State land, you are most likely in violation of the Antiquities Act, if that is the case I would recommend you do the right thing, might want to consult an atty too. If found on private property, and you had permission to be there or are the owner, do as you please.
    Very accurate statement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Montana View Post
    Its a pet piv of mine...I own mining claims and am total po ed when I hear the term abandoned, someone is paying taxes on the land and they own it not you, and you have no right to trespass and treasure hunt, end of story....do the right thing and give it back...Phil
    No dog in the fight (duh LoL), but give it back to who....? If the rifle is even from the later 1800's (1880+) do ya suppose the owner is alive and looking for it? Or should he knock on the land owners (I did not see where/when it was found though?) and say "Hey I found this, it's not really yours either, and you didn't know it was there, but it's yours" Like if someone found an un-signed lottery ticket blowing down the street and turned it into the house it was in front of, even though it could have blown out a car window, or a trash can, or one of another hundred scenarios....

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    Take this conversation off-line with Kurt. Shut up, lots of oil, go slow.

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    What is the "Notice of action" top right corner?
    My 11 year old laptop pixelates very well, magnifies only on 34th of February.

    QR codes might narrow the location, and ownership, to metres or even US measurements.

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    Wow, there's a lot of assumption going on here regarding where it was found. It could have been found on his own property for all we know. It's none of our business anyways.

    To answer the OP, I'd absolutely seek out a professional on this one before I did anything to it. It may be worth more as is, especially if there is some history traced back to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    Its a Sharps Model 1859 rifle converted to cartridge post CW........of considerable value ,even in the relic state it is now.........I would suggest you get some professional advice on the restoration as something as benign (to you) as a touch of sandpaper or steel wool will reduce the value by several thousand dollars!....In other words dont touch it ,save for some oil on the metal.
    My feelings exactly. A mild cleanup with the correct materials is all museums do, and anything further WILL drastically lower the value.

    As I recall, there is a special soap conservators use to clean objects but I can't remember the name of it. I wouldn't even apply oil without the blessing of an antiques expert.

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    I'm not a gun restorer by any means, but from my other restoration experience I can say that the older/rarer something is, the more experience is required to avoid permanent mistakes. You can learn everything there is to know, especially online, but it doesn't give you any experience. Online forums are great because you can lean on others experience, but it still requires you to know what to ask, how to explain, and who to listen too. IMO, If you really want to do it yourself, put it aside and start learning on something less rare.

    Knowledge is learning how to move a paint brush, experience gives you the practice and understanding of where and what to paint.

  28. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocsMachine View Post
    -There was a story of a rifle found leaning against a tree way up in the Nevada mountains. Should that have been left there in case the owner came back for it?

    Doc.
    That rifle was found by a Park service archeologist, she lives in my community, and that rifle is now on display at the Great Basin National Park for anyone to see.

    When found, she did not immediately pick it up, she had to tag it (bright orange tape) so she could find it again, then she spent 3 days doing the paperwork so it could be removed legally, and it was sent to a professional conservator.

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  30. #20
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    Change your story to,"Found it at my grandparent's country house". Doug Turnbull is the restore of choice.

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